Unlocking cancer glycomes from histopathological formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue microdissections

Hannes Hinneburg, Petra Korać, Falko Schirmeister, Slavko Gasparov, Peter H. Seeberger, Vlatka Zoldoš, Daniel Kolarich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


N- and O-glycans are attractive clinical biomarkers as glycosylation changes in response to diseases. The limited availability of defined clinical specimens impedes glyco-biomarker identification and validation in large patient cohorts. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) clinical specimens are the common form of sample preservation in clinical pathology, but qualitative and quantitative N- and O-glycomics of such samples has not been feasible to date. Here, we report a highly sensitive and glycan isomer selective method for simultaneous N- and O-glycomics from histopathological slides. As few as 2000 cells isolated from FFPE tissue sections by laser capture microdissection were sufficient for in-depth histopathology- glycomics using porous graphitized carbon nanoLC ESI-MS/MS. N- and O-glycan profiles were similar between unstained and hematoxylin and eosin stained FFPE samples but differed slightly compared with fresh tissue. This method provides the key to unlock glyco-biomarker information from FFPE histopathological tissues archived in pathology laboratories worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-536
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


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